It's official: Washington has reached a milestone in creating its own health exchange. On Monday the US Department of Health and Human Services announced Washington is among six states to make significant progress in developing an online market for health plans.
Medical mistakes are now the third highest cause of death in the United States, writes Dr. Marty Makary. As a surgeon, Makary has witnessed the power of medicine firsthand. But he's also been shocked by the errors that can have tragic circumstances: wrong limbs amputated, children getting the wrong doses of medicine because of bad handwriting, surgical sponges left inside patients.
Makary advocates for a culture that holds hospitals and doctors accountable for these mistakes in order to bring about positive change in this system. He spoke at Seattle's Town Hall on November 15, 2012.
Next fall Washington’s health exchange is expected to be up and running. The exchange is an online market for health plans, mandated by the federal Affordable Care Act. Right now the state's Health Exchange Board is trying to figure out how to pay for itself.
Whoever is elected as governor this fall could change the course of Washington state's Medicaid program. When the US Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act in June, it determined that the law went too far when it required states to expand Medicaid. The ruling left it up to states to decide whether or not to open up the program to cover people without insurance.
The United Kingdom already has a universal health care system. So you might expect that the health gap between rich and poor is smaller in England than it is the United States — but you’d be wrong!
Melissa Martinson is a professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Washington and she talks with Ross Reynolds about the differences in health between citizens of the United States and the United Kingdom.